Manchester United’s Juan Mata praises Wayne Rooney contribution

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has praised Wayne Rooney’s contribution to the team this season.

Rooney has come under fire for some subpar displays this term, although he did score a hat-trick in the Champions League playoff tie against Club Brugge.

The Man United captain is currently injured, meaning Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial have been playing up top in his absence.

Mata insisted Rooney’s off the ball work is invaluable to United’s play.

Juan Mata 28

“Obviously it’s easy when you have players like him there. He is moving all the time and trying to make a line for your pass,” Mata said.

“I was very happy for him after his three goals against Club Brugge, but he’s not a striker that just scores, he does a lot of work for the team offensively and also to protect the ball.”

Rooney has been criticised at points throughout his career but he always seems to prove the doubters wrong. Although he has undoubtedly lost a yard of pace and perhaps the fire in his game that made him so revered, the hope is that he can silence his critics once again upon his return from injury.

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